Photography and getting over covid-19
Shortly after my last blog update which was week 5 with the Leica M system, China decided to drop its zero-covid policy and open up everything. No more testing, no more quarantine, and a lot more freedom to move around and shoot. It sounded like heaven to me and I decided to make the most out of the situation and go shooting as much as possible. On the first day of shooting, I decided to head back down to the river, mostly so I could see if the covid restrictions had been dropped in the town as I rode to the river but I also wanted to shoot some film again. I don’t have a lot of film left and during the covid restrictions, film was getting destroyed in delivery so I am hoping to be able to buy some more film soon and get back to shoot with some of my film cameras. My gear for the day was simple, the Leica M10 and the Seagull 4A.
The basic plan was to shoot black and white film earlier in the day and wait for the sunset and shoot that with the Leica M10. These two small cameras are easy to travel with and could become travel partners in the future. I have a small little project in mind for the Seagull 4A so this might be my last roll of film through this camera for a while as I am going to do some custom work on the camera body.
While waiting for the sunset on the river, I noticed a massive flock of birds flying and nesting near the river so I decided that I would return tomorrow with my Nikon Cameras and a nice long lens.
The next day I returned to the same location with the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon F2. I have a roll of unfinished film that I have been trying to finish for the last few weeks, but 36 shots take forever to complete. I think that is one of the reasons I prefer to shoot in medium format these last few years.
The giant flock of birds where settle on the wrong part of the river so I never ended up shooting them but I did enjoy my time shooting the sunset with such a zoomed-in perspective. It is nice using the Nikon 200-500 f5.6 lens again. It is one of my favorite Nikon zoom lenses and it has not gotten a lot of exercise recently with covid being so restrictive on traveling with foreigners.
I woke up the following day and the weather was horrible. Mist and soft rain but I really felt like going out to shoot, so I grabbed the Leica Q2M and headed to one of the local parks to shoot. Black and white photos always work in misty and wet conditions so I was in my element shooting with the Leica Q2M. I did take the Leica M10 with but it stayed in the camera bag. I am unsure if I didn’t use the camera because it costs so much money or if I didn’t want to shoot color in this type of weather. What’s the point of having an expensive camera and not wanting to use it? This is something I will need to ponder on in the future.
But as much as I was enjoying my time walking around in the park, I wanted to head towards two local buildings in my city that I knew would be swallowed up by the fog and rain.
Unfortunately, I also agreed to meet a friend on that day, so I had to pack the camera away and go meet my friend by the time we were done, the sun had set and shooting was done for the day. But I was determined to go do some more shooting the following day and to use the Leica Q2M as I knew the weather would still be bad and I was really enjoying the files I was getting from the camera.
As predicted, the weather was not the greatest but I still wanted to get out and shoot some more shots, so I went to one of my favorite spots in the city and meet another friend for some shooting and talking. I knew this location would have lots of people walking around since the covid restrictions were lifted but I was not that afraid of covid. All my friends had covid in the west and it was no big deal to them. Unfortunately, the next day, I started to feel ill so I went for a covid test and I caught covid. At first, I was not too worried as most of my friends that had caught covid outside of China, they simply told me that it was like catching a bad cold. On my second day of covid-19, I knew that this was not going to be a pleasant ride, as I had all the symptoms of covid-19, and my fever was just over 40. Most people only get covid for one week or two at the most. I got what the doctors are calling long covid here in China. I was sick for nearly one month, and because of all the panic buying of medicine, there was no medicine to buy in my city, so I mostly slept in bed and rested as I waited for the virus to work its way out of my system. All these photos in the blog were taken way before Christmas but now that we are halfway through January, I am finally strong enough to get into my office and work on this blog. Covid in China is no joke, and I hope I will never get it again. But I am finally over covid and finally tested negative for the virus yesterday, so I plan to go out and do some walking and shooting again. Covid wrecked my body so I need to get some exercise again to try and build up my fitness level. I am not sure if I will be working this year, but the probability is much higher than normal as covid restrictions have lifted and some foreign bands might be brave enough to come and tour China again. So getting up and walking around and improving my health will be my first task I need to tackle this year and hopefully the small Leica cameras will be the perfect companion for this task.